Hello friends, happy Tuesday!
Many of you reading might not know this about me, but about two years ago I graduated with a Masters in International and Human Rights Education. Education is something I feel very strongly about, and I hoped that this degree would allow me to combine my passion for social justice issues and my love of travel with my belief in the power of education.
However, as it is with life sometimes, my current job has little to do with anything I studied in grad school, and sometimes I really miss it. I think that what I miss most about grad school was that I was constantly engaging in dialogue about issues that matter, and I was always learning about people and organizations that are working so hard to right wrongs and create a more socially just world. I often got to meet people that were doing really amazing work, work that was actually making a difference, and it was so inspiring.
So in an effort to bring a little more of that into my life (and hopefully yours!), I’d like to introduce a new series on this little blog of mine about the people and organizations that inspire me. I think it is easy to forget that we as individuals can actually make a difference, but we can, and many people actually are. Most importantly, I want to use this series as a way to highlight the many amazing organizations and individuals out there that have dedicated so much of their life and time to helping others, yet you might not even know they exist.
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Buy The Change USA.
A few months ago I wrote a post for the Half the Sky campaign I was involved in, and one of the comments I received was from Kari Hughes, one of the founders of Buy The Change USA. She sent me an email and said that after being inspired by Half the Sky, she and her friend opened a female centered fair-trade company to help women bulid businesses by bringing their handmade goods into the American market. As Kari told me, “We know the best way to keep a girl safe is to give her mother an income.”
I’m embarrassed that it has taken me this long to share this awesome organization with you all, because what Kari and Shanan have done is truly inspiring. Jewelry, scarves, bags, wallets, home accessories… they have it all. All of their products are fairly traded, and most of them are made with recycled materials. They currently sell these products online, but they also offer in-home trunk shows and fundraising shows in the Detroit Metro area. They also have plans for an advocate program that will allow them to offer home shows in other parts of the country.
The artisans they work with are incredible women that have “have survived sex trafficking, war, poverty and cultures that do not value the life of a girl as equal to that of a boy.” Their mission is “is to change the lives of women and girls in the developing world by inspiring you to change where you shop for gifts and accessories. You can make a difference.”
We can make a difference.
So please, take a few minutes of your day and go peruse their website. Get to know their artisans. Window shop their beautiful inventory. Spread the word by liking them on facebook.
Even better – buy something! Your purchase really can make a difference.
Do you have an organization or person that inspires you? If so, please email me or leave a comment and let me know!